Day#2 – Burlington, VT
I woke up this morning at around 10:30 feeling like death. It was still raining outside and at this point I don’t give a shit anymore. The thing that pissed me off the most about the rain is that it made me think of that Garbage song. I don’t want to think about Garbage songs, like ever.
After shambling around and grunting at each other for a little bit, we got things together, got some coffee in us, and left the place we were crashing for the evening. Bye Maine. Unfortunately, we did not get to meet Maine’s biggest celebrity, Stephen King, but we DID get to meet a guy we’d like to think of as a celebrity by the name of Bob York (pictured below with Ira). He approached us in that town in New Hampshire… the one with the abandoned train station next to the bank of America that kinda looks like a log cabin. You know that town right? Bob has been CRUSHING ass in that town since way back and stopped to tell us everything he knew about trains and New Hampshire. It was educational and awkward.
We rolled into Burlington, VT around 4:30. We weren’t sure if they’d stop us at the city limit because our van doesn’t run on hemp, but we got in without a problem. We pulled up at Higher Ground and were pleased to learn that perhaps the two most important Americans currently living were inside. I’m of course talking about Ben and Mawfuckin’ Jerry kids. Yep, we were in the presence of GREATNESS. We didn’t get to meet the legends themselves, but we could hear the corporate event going down from outside of the room and it sounded bumping. There was totally whip cream wrestling.
Here is the point in the story where I must give you the unfortunate news: our friend from last blog, who bet Patrick that she could blow a condom into a bubble through her nose, was kicked out of the venue before we could settle the bet once and for all time. Why come? Well, apparently she dropped something, and a nearby concert goer thought it would be a good idea to fart on her head while she bent over to pick it up. I hope that dude didn’t buy one of our CD’s. So, understandably, our friend was quite perturbed and threw down. Looks like we might have seen the last of her, but her can-do spirit will be with us always.
Higher Ground’s stage is trampoline like. I definitely came perilously close to knocking over all of my equipment during our set. The venue had us go on a half hour after doors, so the room felt a little empty. I might have been bummed about that, but the staff was so exceedingly nice that we didn’t care. Oddly enough our hospitality manager was a former classmate, bar customer, and all around cool gal that went to the same college as Ross; it was a very welcoming atmosphere that made it feel like a home away from home. Patrick and I were also able to catch up on this week’s episode of LOST.
Clutch ripped it tonight. JP wrote the setlist and it was pretty much all one could ask for in a Clutch set. Neil Fallon is a pentacostal preacher trapped in a rocker’s body. It’s always cool to see a band of their caliber at the top of their form.
Day # 3 (Part 1) Kitchener, Ontario
After the Burlington show was over, we began our journey to Canada. Just for fun, the Tom Tom directed us to not one but two ferries that were closed because it was the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. Come on Tom Tom. Sometimes you need to buy a map kids- lesson learned. The backroads of Southwestern Vermont and Northeastern New York are perfect horror movie settings. Ira and I witnessed a cloud that appeared to glow in the dark not far from a power plant off in the distance. It was disconcerting.
We arrived at the border to Canada convinced that we would be pulled out of the vehicle, strip-searched and thrown into a Canadian jail. We’d been told horror stories left and right in the lead up to this border crossing, and were prepared for the worst. We were cleared in roughly 45 seconds and into Canada. Huge mistake Canada, huuuge. Word of advice: if you need to cross into Ontario from New England, use the border crossing near Buffalo/Niagra falls.
Once in Ontario, Canada (which sorta looked like a slightly less desolate version of Kansas) we passed a rad place that had giant model dinosaurs. We stopped to do some Parkour (more on that in the future) quickly and then finished off the trip to Kitchener.
Kitchener is a pretty awesome town about an hour and a half from Toronto. The weather could not have been nicer. Ross, Pat, and Ira traveled the streets finding a ton of great food, and a number of record shops that sell t-shirts but not records. We filled our belly’s with a nice all-you-can-eat sushi place and made it back to the venue to meet local openers Sin Dealer. We all got in some pre-show naps per the advice of the monitor engineer who said “it looks like the wind could blow you over.” Once awake, we found ourselves ready to play what was arguably the best show in Caverns history…
More from Kitchener, ON in the next installment of Northern Exposure.
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